Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant disconnected from power grid for second day after nearby fires | CNN


Kyiv, Ukraine
CNN

of Ukraine Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plantwhich is held by the Russian military, is still disconnected from the country’s power grid, a day after it was disconnected for the first time in its history, according to the country’s nuclear operator.

“The station’s own needs for power supply are currently provided by repaired lines from Ukraine’s energy system,” Energoatom said in a statement on Friday.

On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said backup diesel generators had been “immediately activated” at the plant to prevent a “radiation catastrophe”.

“The world must understand what a threat this is: if the diesel generators had not started, if the automation and our employees of the plant had not reacted after the blackout, we would have been forced to overcome the effects of radiation. accident,” Zelensky said in a nightly speech.

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Generators are installed to supply power to the cooling pumps to stop the fuel from overheating in the event of a power outage.

“Russia has put Ukraine and all Europeans one step away from a radiation catastrophe,” Zelensky said, adding that officials from the IAEA, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, must be given immediate access to the site.

In a statement on Thursday, Energoatom said the nuclear plant’s last remaining power line broke twice after a fire broke out at a nearby thermal power plant. Three other lines of the plant “were previously lost during the conflict,” it added.

Ukraine’s nuclear power plant is under threat from Russian military shelling

Energotom blamed Russia for the break in contact. “ZNPP (Zaporiziya Nuclear Power Plant) was completely disconnected from the power grid due to the actions of the attackers – the first in the history of the plant.”

Ukraine’s Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said on Thursday that the continued presence of Russian troops at and near the plant was a “continual trigger of a potential nuclear disaster”.

“Today’s events give another vivid confirmation of this,” he said, “who is ready to take responsibility for tomorrow’s security?”

Halushchenko called on the international community to ensure nuclear security, saying that “quick de-occupation and disarmament of the ZNPP is the only way for Europe to sleep peacefully and not fear nuclear clouds in the sky.”

Russia has been in possession of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant since March. Clashes around the complex have created widespread anxiety and fears of disaster.

Ukraine accuses the Russian military of using the plant as a shield and threatens the plant with a potential disaster. The Kremlin has repeatedly accused the Ukrainian military of firing on the plant.

The Russian-installed regional governor blamed Ukrainian military operations for the outage, adding “work is underway to restore power supply to the region and start up another power unit.”

Zaporizhia Nuclear Power Plant Generates about 20% Prolonged cuts from Ukraine’s electricity and national grid will be a major challenge for Ukraine as cold weather approaches.

Negotiations are underway for the IAEA to visit the plant. “Almost every day a new incident occurs at or near the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant. We cannot lose any more time. I am determined to personally lead an IAEA mission to the plant to stabilize the nuclear safety and security situation over the next few days,” IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said in a statement. is

He previously accused France 24 of being “very close” to a deal with Russia.

But the contact was lost on Thursday Anxiety is heightened Moscow is trying to divert electricity produced in Zaporizhia to Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine.

That view was echoed Monday by Energotom CEO Kotin, who in an interview with CNN accused Russia of trying to disconnect the plant from the Ukrainian grid “and then try to connect it to the Russian system.”

He said the only way to do this would be a complete shutdown of the plant “and a complete cut of all lines connected to the Ukrainian system.” Because now the frequencies are different, the Russian frequency and the Ukrainian frequency – we are synchronized with the European system and they are synchronized with Russia.”

But if the fourth line fails, he warned, “we will have more blackouts in the entire plant,” he said, describing it as a “dangerous situation” because the plant will rely solely on diesel-powered generators, which are unreliable “because they need fuel to do their work.” is, and moreover … they have a limited ability to work continuously.”

Nuclear power plants use several auxiliary safety systems, such as diesel generators and external grid connections, Keep the reactors If that mechanism fails, the reactor will rapidly heat up, starting a nuclear meltdown.

Citing Ukraine, the IAEA said Thursday that the plant “is connected to a 330 kV line from a nearby thermal power facility that can provide back-up power if needed.”

US State Department Chief Deputy Spokesman Vedant Patel said on Thursday that any attempt to disconnect the “Zaporiziya nuclear power plant” from the Ukrainian power grid and redirect it to occupied territory is unacceptable.

“It is clear that Russia’s shelling and seizure of Ukraine’s energy plants and infrastructure is part of its strategy to create an energy crisis in Europe. We strongly condemn any action by the ZNPP or elsewhere that affects the health and well-being of citizens across the region,” Patel said. He said while interacting with the journalists.

Bonnie Jenkins, a top US State Department official, warned on Thursday that Russia’s actions at the plant “create a grave risk of a nuclear incident, a dangerous radiation release that could threaten not only the people and environment of Ukraine, but also neighboring countries.” The entire international community. ”

Jenkins, who is undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, urged Russia to halt military activity around the plant, emphasizing the importance of the IAEA visit.

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